Author: The Queer Therapist
No Straight Answers: A fiercely queer guide to love, life and mental health.
No Straight Answers: Am I still a lesbian if I’m non-binary?
Lesbian Visibility Week takes place annually at the end of April and, as someone who spent most of their formative years as an out and proud lesbian, I am always happy to see the week come round.
It’s a brilliant chance to celebrate all of the incredible shapes, sizes and genders under the spectrum of lesbian identity as well as centring the brilliance and significance of lesbians in our culture.
Trans, non-binary and and gender non-conforming lesbians exist.
There is no “right way” to be a lesbian. Lesbians can be anyone who is attracted to women and isn’t a cisgender man.
It certainly doesn’t mean that every trans, gender non-confirming or queer person identifies this way, but it’s important to know that defining a lesbian as a cisgender woman who likes other cisgender women is outdated and trans-exclusionary thinking.
As someone who is a trans-masc non-binary person, I moved from identifying as a lesbian to using the term queer to describe my sexuality as part of my transition, but plenty of people don’t.
It really comes down to what feels right for the individual.
What’s the difference between a lesbian, a queer-femme and being Sapphic?
Essentially, just the person who is using it.
In fact, the same person may choose to use all three terms to describe their identity. For some folk, referring to themselves as a lesbian may be tied to the generations of proud trailblazing lesbians that have come before or because it’s the most accurate descriptor of their gender identity and sexual orientation.
Others may prefer the terms ‘queer-femme’ or ‘sapphic’ as these identity descriptors may carry connotations of living beyond the binary and also indicate a person’s preferences when it comes to sexual and romantic attraction.
How do you know which to use for myself?
Many of my clients struggle with imposter syndrome when it comes to LGBTQIA+ their identities. They feel they must look, sound and act a certain way or need to meet certain criteria before they are “allowed” to claim an identity.
But the reality is no one else can give you permission to be who you are but you.
If you’re confused, trust yourself and give yourself permission to try new descriptors until you find the one that best describes your experience of your gender identity, sexuality and relationship preferences. The only thing that matters is how these labels feel for you.
For more from The Queer Therapist, follow their social channels @theqtherapist
Chris Grant, The Queer Therapist, is a trans non binary psychotherapist, sex and relationship therapist, Diversity, Inclusion and Equality Consultant and health content writer who specialises in trans and queer mental health, sex and relationships.
Brought to you by GLUE Magazine, No Straight Answers is a fiercely queer, non-normative column that looks at love, life and relationship through a queer lens.
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